What’s the next Flyer Chief Offering?

Roundhouse Bill posted:

Bob (The Snob) Have you tried FlyerChief or are you just guessing that it is inferior?? 

I think there is almost no difference in sound quality and the engines operate just the same in terms of control.

Own a new NKP GP-7. Took delivery Christmas Eve. Its OK for the money and easily drops into a traditional Gilbert world. One can and usually does run them on a high constant voltage loop/layout, but ....

It is definitely not a Legacy engine. All I have to do is fire up (or just look at) my PRR Y3 to provide a reminder. Try setting up a double header. One can pair any SD70ACe or ES44es with another one. One can run them using DCC, too. The current generation of double PAs are readily configured to operate in tandem tail to tail due to the flexibility inherent to Legacy architecture. To these ears, the sounds and sound variations (e.g., laboring effects, whistle quality, etc.) available with some Legacy engines are superior to any FC+ L-AF engine, but then I am not bucking for a hearing aid (yet ). When you ran your BB the other day, did you not notice how comparably satisfying the sounds are?  And, that is a 9 year old piece.

Costs more, but you 'gets' more.

Respectfully,

Bob

The "Chief" control systems and Legacy are really aimed at different markets.  If there's some crossover by the Legacy folks, it makes Lionel happy. 

The simple fact is conventional control as a marketable scheme for Lionel has sailed into the sunset.  Lionel's O gauge starter sets aren't even able to be run conventionally, they don't have the conventional slide switch built in and there's no way to add it.  And all MTH sets use a stripped down DCS command system, although their locomotives still can be run conventionally and also have full featured Proto-3 in them.

After playing with a friend's GP7, the FC sound is OK, not a good in comparison as MTH's Proto-3 or Lionel's Legacy, but OK.  But, I'm neither here nor there about sound, I've even turned the sound off sometimes when running.  But, FlyerChief does offer smooth operation and control, something I care much more about than sound. 

If I was still interested in buying traditional type Flyer, the FC system wouldn't be a show-stopper for me.

Rusty

I would imagine if you have a Legacy setup or DCC setup, it would be preferable to have to use only one controller especially if you have turnouts/routes controlled by Legacy or DCC.  If they could make the bluetooth app let you switch between locos easily, that would be nice.  

Brendan

Brendan posted:

 If they could make the Bluetooth app let you switch between locos easily, that would be nice.  

 

I know nothing about the ins and outs of Bluetooth but I do know to never say never. With all the brainiacs out there it's only a matter of time before someone develops a sweeping new advance in the digital world and solves the problem. I was really excited about Bluetooth control of the FlyerChief engines until I found out about the "one engine at a time" control issue. For now I'll stick with the Universal Remote and control 3 locos at the same time. With new Legacy engines having Bluetooth control capability the Legacy guys aren't gonna accept being able to only run one engine at a time with their phone, tablet or whatever.

Mark

Bob Bubeck posted:
Roundhouse Bill posted:

Bob (The Snob) Have you tried FlyerChief or are you just guessing that it is inferior?? 

I think there is almost no difference in sound quality and the engines operate just the same in terms of control.

Own a new NKP GP-7. Took delivery Christmas Eve. Its OK for the money and easily drops into a traditional Gilbert world. One can and usually does run them on a high constant voltage loop/layout, but ....

It is definitely not a Legacy engine. All I have to do is fire up (or just look at) my PRR Y3 to provide a reminder. Try setting up a double header. One can pair any SD70ACe or ES44es with another one. One can run them using DCC, too. The current generation of double PAs are readily configured to operate in tandem tail to tail due to the flexibility inherent to Legacy architecture. To these ears, the sounds and sound variations (e.g., laboring effects, whistle quality, etc.) available with some Legacy engines are superior to any FC+ L-AF engine, but then I am not bucking for a hearing aid (yet ). When you ran your BB the other day, did you not notice how comparably satisfying the sounds are?  And, that is a 9 year old piece.

Costs more, but you 'gets' more.

Respectfully,

Bob

Completely agree. Received my FC Northern today. Cost me less than half of what my Y-3 cost me and for obvious reasons...detail, sound quality, sound options, momentum function, start up, shut down, light control, and numerous other options available on Legacy. I like the FC Northern, but I would have been willing to pay double for a Legacy Northern detailed to the quality of the Y-3 and to have therefore maintained controlling all of my smart engines with one device.  Pretty sure this will be my last FC purchase unless something highly detailed comes out in the future in which case I might buy it and convert it to TMCC myself.

Chuck K posted:

  I don't think you're going top seeCompletely agree. Received my FC Northern today. Cost me less than half of what my Y-3 cost me and for obvious reasons...detail, sound quality, sound options, momentum function, start up, shut down, light control, and numerous other options available on Legacy. I like the FC Northern, but I would have been willing to pay double for a Legacy Northern detailed to the quality of the Y-3 and to have therefore maintained controlling all of my smart engines with one device.  Pretty sure this will be my last FC purchase unless something highly detailed comes out in the future in which case I might buy it and convert it to TMCC myself.

Don't forget, the F/C Northern is still based off of 1950's Gilbert tooling, which was a fairly good model of a UP FEF1 for it's time.

I don't think your going to see Lionel tool up another UP FEF1 with contemporary detail resolution.  Now, maybe folks could convince Lionel to do the UP FEF3 (UP 844,) an SP Daylight (4449,) N&W J (611) or maybe even an AT&SF 3751 (all presently operational well known locomotives in the real world,) but it would appear that Lionel isn't quite ready to commit to another Flyer Legacy steam locomotive at this time. 

For the Legacy price and contemporary detail resolution, all of the above would require all new tooling from the wheels up because plopping just a new highly detailed boiler adjusted to fit on the current Flyer Northern drive would result in awkward looking locomotives. 

I think the current push with FlyerChief is to try to expand the Flyer market using existing products.  If it wasn't for the Polar Express, I doubt Lionel would have done the F/C Berkshires.

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:
Chuck K posted:

  I don't think you're going top seeCompletely agree. Received my FC Northern today. Cost me less than half of what my Y-3 cost me and for obvious reasons...detail, sound quality, sound options, momentum function, start up, shut down, light control, and numerous other options available on Legacy. I like the FC Northern, but I would have been willing to pay double for a Legacy Northern detailed to the quality of the Y-3 and to have therefore maintained controlling all of my smart engines with one device.  Pretty sure this will be my last FC purchase unless something highly detailed comes out in the future in which case I might buy it and convert it to TMCC myself.

Don't forget, the F/C Northern is still based off of 1950's Gilbert tooling, which was a fairly good model of a UP FEF1 for it's time.

 

<snip>

Rusty

Just so folks know, the only original Gilbert tool used in manufacturing the new L-AF Northerns (both conventional and FC+) is that for the pilot. That's it. The Gilbert tooling (for the boiler, for example) dated from 1939, was used with modifications through the 1950s, and was no longer usable to obtain quality castings. For example, by comparing the boiler casting in a new Northern and a Gilbert original, one can note that the newer tooled boiler is more round (and more prototypically correct). Essentially, Lionel tooled up an improved copy of the Gilbert model with the chassis being an all-new design.

I wrote of this aspect about the tooling  in my review of the new L-AF Northern in S Gaugian when it first appeared about 10 years ago.

Bob

I was at a local (Southeastern Michigan) train show years ago, when there was only talk of resurrecting the Northern.   Folks then were dumpster diving at the factory in Mount Clemens and some interesting things found their way on sellers' tables.  Unpainted freight and passenger car shells when the factory closed, and earlier on, some of what the seller said to be (and I don't suspect they weren't) factory test shots of Northern boilers using surviving Gilbert tooling.  They were ROUGH.  You could tell that the tooling was VERY well worn, and the fact that it hadn't been used in decades allowed the tools to corrode to a point where any castings from those tools would require too much final finishing to be practical.  I almost bought one of them simply because it would have made an interesting historical artifact, but the price was too high at the time.  In retrospect, it would have been cool to own one of those casting.  Alas, hindsight is always 20-20, isn't it?

 

 

 

poniaj posted:

I was at a local (Southeastern Michigan) train show years ago, when there was only talk of resurrecting the Northern.   Folks then were dumpster diving at the factory in Mount Clemens and some interesting things found their way on sellers' tables.  Unpainted freight and passenger car shells when the factory closed, and earlier on, some of what the seller said to be (and I don't suspect they weren't) factory test shots of Northern boilers using surviving Gilbert tooling.  They were ROUGH.  You could tell that the tooling was VERY well worn, and the fact that it hadn't been used in decades allowed the tools to corrode to a point where any castings from those tools would require too much final finishing to be practical.  I almost bought one of them simply because it would have made an interesting historical artifact, but the price was too high at the time.  In retrospect, it would have been cool to own one of those casting.  Alas, hindsight is always 20-20, isn't it?

 

Agreed.

Todd Wagner kindly permitted me to inspect (circa 2002) a test shot of the boiler from the original tooling. It wouldn't have been acceptable. I have a test shot of the Northern tender made with original tooling in my collection and, although not too awfully bad, the finish of the casting is not up to current standards and expectations. There are instances were the old tools fail. For example, this is why an all-new tool for the No. 936 depressed center reel car was made.  And, so forth.

Bob

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